Thursday, 08 March 2018 14:30

How Neoliberal is Turkey?

By Thomas Helm

March 8,  2018

A “neoliberal” consensus has reigned in Turkish politics since the 1980s.  Yet far from being rolled back, the state has in fact been actively “rolled forward.” Various aspects of neoliberalism have been assimilated into an authoritarian system. The system features a combination of a liberalized economy with weak trade unions, poor workers’ rights and a strong state with a pervasive, centralized crony-capitalism. It has come at a significant social cost and relies on potentially unstable growth.


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By Halil Karaveli

February 22,  2018

Turkey is at an historical juncture: the need to try something new has acquired urgency. The right, in secular or Islamic shape, that has dominated Turkey throughout its history has demonstrated that it perpetuates authoritarian rule. Can the left provide a democratic hope? Ideally, a “Progressive front” would coalesce to challenge the ruling "Nationalist front" and the hold of authoritarianism. However, the war against the Kurds in Syria boosts the right-wing nationalist parties, and also the Turkish social democrats support it. To provide an exit out of Turkey’s impasse, the mainstream Turkish left needs to reinvent itself. It must emancipate from its father figure, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.


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By Toni Alaranta

January 31,  2018

No substantial “Eurasian turn” of Turkish foreign policy is likely – or at any rate likely to be lasting. However, the deterioration of the Turkish-Western relations has nonetheless helped bring about an unholy alliance of various “anti-Westernists,” secularist-nationalists and Islamists, which is anything but insignificant in terms of domestic politics. The regime has been bolstered, as it can now count on being supported by at least some secularist nationalists in the name of “anti-imperialism.” 


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By Gareth H. Jenkins 

January 22,  2018

The combination of the growing sense of empowerment amongst supporters of the Turkish government and the recent proliferation of reports that they are arming and organizing has reinforced concerns about not only the rule of law but also the risk that the country’s already severe social tensions may lead to communal violence. 


Published in Articles

By Cengiz Candar

December 20,  2017

The roots of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s “New Turkey” can be found in the decades that preceded the foundation of the Turkish republic. The ultranationalist Young Turks who ruled the Ottoman Empire during its final years – with catastrophic consequences – have extended their tentacles into the present. To preserve his power, Erdoğan has made a Faustian deal with their incarnations.


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Joint Center Publications

Op-ed S. Frederick Starr, Brenda Shaffer and Svante E. Cornell, How the U.S. Promotes Extremism in the Name of Religious FreedomForeign Affairs, August 24, 2017

Op-ed Lawrence Stutzriem and Svante Cornell "Turkey and Qatar's Support for Extremist Groups", Realcleardefense, May 23, 2017

Article Halil Karaveli "Turkey's Authoritarian Legacy", Cairo Review of Global Affairs,  May 1, 2017

Op-ed Halil M. Karaveli "Assasination in Ankara"Foreign Affairs, January 3, 2017

Essay Halil M. Karaveli "Erdogan's Journey"Foreign Affairs, October 19, 2016

Op-ed Halil M. Karaveli "Turkey's Fractured State", The New York Times, August 1, 2016

Monograph Eric Edelman, Svante Cornell, Aaron Lobel, Halil Karaveli, "Turkey Transformed: The Origins and Evolution of Authoritarianism and Islamization under the AKP", Bipartisan Policy Center, October 2015.

Article Svante E. Cornell and M.K. Kaya, "The Naqshbandi-Khalidi Order and Political Islam in Turkey", Current Trends in Islamist Ideology, September 2015.


The Turkey Analyst is a publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, designed to bring authoritative analysis and news on the rapidly developing domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey. It includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.


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